As COVID-19 caused the closure of our school in March 2020, we found ourselves in a dilemma. How do we cover enough material to help our students learn what they need to know for that educational cycle? How would we confront the next school year as our teachers had to create an entirely new approach to teaching?

Because of interrupted learning, we had to figure out what to do to serve our students and still make meaningful educational progress. However, it was not an easy process, and we are still trying to get helpful and practical answers.

At the beginning of the pandemic, teachers, in general, were worried about covering relevant content. Mapping became key to organizing our units and benchmarks according to priority in order to show teachers which units were essential and which were a bonus to their teaching.

As the Curriculum Coordinator, I felt that my job was to facilitate teaching and learning, so I began a quest to find out what experts were saying about prioritizing benchmarks by asking 3 questions: What essential concepts would help students succeed in the present grade? What material and skills would overlap and be beneficial for other subjects? And what would the student need to know to be ready for the next grade?

Curriculum Trak answers those questions by offering unique flexibility to move units, change benchmarks, and add notes that facilitate understanding on how much of the curriculum was taught in a year. Their reports allow our school to see, measure, and reflect on our practices, giving us the opportunity to grow and target areas that have not been well covered. However, despite the convenience and practicality of mapping, there are still some teachers who do not like it or do not see the benefit of it. Helping teachers to see positive aspects of mapping is still a work in progress.

This year has presented situations we have never had to confront before, as some of the students are coming to school in person and others still study online. The hybrid system presents new and unexpected challenges to engage students and teach the content they need to complete their school year. Technology has become one of our greatest allies, and many teachers have had to change their approach to delivering their lessons and assessing students. Yet, Curriculum Trak remains a reliable source of support for administrators and educators. Curriculum Trak helped us in 2020 and is still assisting us in this ever-changing educational scenario.

Jacqueline V Essery was born in Chile, South America, and moved to the United States when she was 16 years old. She is a widow with two wonderful children who love and serve the Lord. She has a BA in Fine Arts, a MA in General Education, and an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She is currently the Curriculum Coordinator at Academia Los Pinares in beautiful Honduras.

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